Leipheimer and Stybar to miss Omega Pharma Quick Step training camp
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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Leipheimer and Stybar to miss Omega Pharma Quick Step training camp

by Shane Stokes at 9:17 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Tour Down Under riders also amongst ten absentees

Levi LeipheimerUsually a time when the whole team comes together, ten of the riders from the Omega Pharma Quick Step team will be missing from a training camp starting tomorrow in Spain.

The absentees include the American Levi Leipheimer and world cyclo-cross champion Zdenek Stybar plus eight others. Those concerned have been given an exemption from the camp, with their absence due to mostly to competitive obligations and, in the case of Leipheimer, because of location.

Stybar is building towards the defence of his world title and will this Sunday line out in the Czech national cyclo cross championships, where he is expected to win.

The riders who will take part in the Santos Tour Down Under will also be absent as they will fly out from Amsterdam tomorrow. The sextet comprises the leaders Gerald Ciolek and Gert Steegmans, as well as Matt Brammeier, Andy Fenn, Serge Pauwels and Matteo Trentin.

Directeur sportif Rik Van Slycke is also travelling to Australia with them and so will be absent from the camp.

Leipheimer is due to start racing in nineteen days’ time and his focus on being ready for that means that the team decided he should continue training in California rather than making two trans-Atlantic flights.

“We all agreed on this decision, so Levi won’t lose any training days as he works towards his season debut at the Tour de San Luis,” said the trainer Tom Steels, who added that two others would be missing. “Niki Terpstra and Iljo Keisse won’t be there. Starting tomorrow, they will participate together in the Six Days of Rotterdam.”

A total of 29 riders will race in Omega Pharma Quick Step colours in 2012. This means that nineteen will be part of the Benicassim training camp, including world time trial champion Tony Martin, former title holder Bert Grabsch, Classic specialists Tom Boonen and Sylvain Chavanel and Grand Tour contender Peter Velits.

Steels said that there is a clear plan laid out, with the goal being to ensure that those racing early will be ready to show well.

“It will be an important training camp for the team. Regarding January’s camp, we’re going to be focusing more on some specific tasks,” he said. “The aim is to work on rhythm and speed so we’ll be ready in the first races of the season, starting with the Tour de San Luis in Argentina.”

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